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Your Food Choices Can Save the World (Maybe)

Most of us believe we can help save the planet if we alter our food choices.  What most of us don’t agree on is how exactly to alter our diet to bring about the most benefit to the Earth.  Is it a plant based diet, a pasture based diet, a local diet, or an organic diet?  What about fair trade certified, humanely raised, salmon safe, or community based?  There are so many implications for our food choices that making the “right” choice often seems elusive.

The picture above is of my dinner from last night.  Did I make the right choices?  Could I have made better choices when considering my footprint on the planet?  How big of an impact will my choices, and your choices, actually make?  This is a conversation that needs your voice, your opinions and experiences.  Watch the video, craft a response, and leave a comment.  Your thoughts just might be the spark for another person struggling to find an answer to this dilemma.

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15 Responses to Your Food Choices Can Save the World (Maybe)

  1. Sandra Knauf July 26, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Hi Chrstine,

    GREAT presentation! It’s a subject we all need to work out.

    I’m growing some food in a community garden, and a little at home, but you’re right – especially in this climate our gardens supplement, but aside from the next couple of months, it hardly makes a dent in a family’s caloric intake. There are many things one can do, but probably the starting point is to read a lot, watch a lot of videos, learn about your particular climate and geographic location and what is even possible here.

    I would highly recommend Joel Salatin’s book “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” as a starting point. He allowed me to publish a chapter out of his book in Greenwoman (Issue #3). It’s available as a PDF file for $2.95 – but if you don’t have the money, send me an email and I’ll send it to you for free.

    Keep up the good work, Christine – education is KEY!

    • Christine July 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Thanks for your thoughts on this Sandra, and super cool about hosting a chapter from Joel Salatin’s latest book. His work is second to none in the United States right now.

  2. Shawn Rosvold July 26, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Great video, Christine. You bring up a lot of points that most people, including me, never think about. The Cliff Notes version of sustainability is helpful, but there are so many nuances that something like this video needs to spur thought and dialog. I’m hoping to finally build my greenhouse in August, and I hope I can heat it using passive solar water storage to begin with. Your classes and videos are always so helpful. Thanks for all you do!

    • Christine July 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      Unfortunately Shawn I even left some things out that are as serious as the ones I mentioned. If this video is the Cliff Notes of sustainability it could use a rewrite with a few extra chapters. I am stoked for you that you are building a greenhouse next month – super cool! 🙂

  3. Leslie July 26, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Christine — thank you. I’m ashamed to say that I’m late to this battle and have nothing substantial to add — nothing that would help others, except the encouragement to start somewhere. I am listening and watching experts like you — and truly appreciate that you are well-spoken and well-informed.

    For years I have canned food, recycled goods and cooked from scratch . . . but now I realize that my efforts are only the beginning. I need to step it up, get in the fight in an educated way, and take action as opportunities present themselves. And maybe that isn’t even enough. Too many times the passive approach of waiting for opportunities to present themselves is a lame excuse for doing nothing.

    Thank you, again, for this somber reminder. I’m going back to the drawing board to see what I can do in my community — today.

    • Christine July 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      Leslie so glad to hear you are looking at new ways to “step it up.” The problems we face are massive, and like Fred said “Complaining, protesting and petitioning government are obsolete responses. Personal action – setting the example – is the one thing each of us can rely on, and it’s the one thing that might lead a small part of humanity out of this minefield.” Good for you Leslie – lead the charge. 🙂

  4. Diana July 26, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Hi Christine,

    I agree with your concerns, BUT for every one person who embraces what you’ve said there are hundreds out there who don’t give a darn. It’s just like with prepping – I will do what I can for myself and those around me, but I can’t save the world. Maybe I’m old and tired, but that’s just how I feel.

    Thanks for all you do and all the good info you put out.

    • Christine July 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      Diana perhaps you hit on the point – we each must do for ourselves. Reliance on faltering systems is tantamount to suicide.

  5. Fred July 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Great conversation starter, Christy! If you want to title this discussion, I’d suggest “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.”

    I agree completely with what Diana said above. Specifically, for every best practice we adopt and the incremental savings that result, there are hundreds of Chinese and Indians eagerly waiting to snap up the barrel of oil, acre foot of water and/or calorie of food we free up.

    We also need to face the fact that along with the jobs, the west has very cynically outsourced most of our industrial pollution to these countries. When you honestly account for that and the hideous agricultural practices that replaced heavy industry in America, it’s debatable whether there have ever been any environmental gains at all.

    These “developing” countries are like America circa 1900 – little but high expectations and short-term appetite for a “better life” They’re still quite naive, and likely decades away from addressing the downside of industrialization. (As to that, there are still plenty of Americans who don’t give a damn,,,)

    My guess is mankind won’t get around to addressing such concerns until we are driven to it by famines, resource wars and un-liveable continents.

    It’s also important to understand that no aspect of life is actually sustainable. Even using best practices, there are losses at every conversion of energy, from transforming sunlight into plants to the digestion of food. (Thanks, thermodynamics!) For insight into this, I recommend Dr. Al Bartlett’s “Arithmetic, Population and Energy” lecture on YouTube.

    PV solar is another example of the futility of clinging to this industrial life. All PV solar manufacturing does is leverage today’s fossil fuel driven industrial capacity forward into a time when energy (and water, which is a huge component of PV manuracturing) will be much more dear. I still recommend PV as a kind of savings account to ease the transition, but always point out that when we get to those days, we sure won’t be making many PV modules!

    I remain apt to teach but long ago gave up on the notion of saving much, if anything, more than myself. (Some days I wonder if I can even do that!) That’s a bleak picture, but it’s the truth.

    On the bright side, our physical health and emotional well being remains under our own control. Good food is the best medicine, and laughter isn’t far behind. A lot of happiness is there to be found in a simpler life lived in greater harmony with nature. I recommend paying attention to faith, friendships, the quality of your food and letting go of material crap as a measure of wealth. That’s where I’m focused, and I’m happier than I ever suspected I’d be!

    Best practices are well understood. As we adopt them in our own lives, we become a part of their spread and their evolution. Complaining, protesting and petitioning government are obsolete responses. Personal action – setting the example – is the one thing each of us can rely on, and it’s the one thing that might lead a small part of humanity out of this minefield.

    Learn it. Do it. Live it. Be it.

    • Christine July 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      LOL! I love your title Fred! 🙂 Perhaps “knowing the difference” would clear my mind. Then again, it is only the people who “think they can” that actually do. To quote Henry Ford “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” Thank you for sharing your truth – good points for us all to ponder.

  6. Sandy White July 28, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    I am always fascinated by the “save the world” scenario. I would imagine that social justice activists have been trying to save the world from certain destruction for as long as humans have been destroying the world. Which is to say, as long a humans have been human. This is a battle of human consciousness. This is our Bhudda nature against our most greedy inner selves. For all the reasons that corporations destroy to produce, for all the reasons that we use to justify our own greed, it is just a matter of the duality of human nature. We build great monuments and we build toxic waste dumps. The path to world peace is inner peace. We just have to find that path for ourselves.
    Meanwhile, having a garden and some chickens and bunnies can’t hurt…

    • Christine July 30, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Thank you for that – I needed a swift kick in the “id.” 🙂 And yes, gardens, and chickens, and bunnies can’t hurt. 😉

  7. Marcial September 16, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    Hi Christine. I just joined to get your updates. This is the first blog I’m reading and responding to. It caught my eye because I also believe the world needs saving. I first have to say that I was part of the masses that was willfully ignorant of what we humans are doing to mother Earth. I was just going with the flow. I only become “awakened” because I lost my job 3 years ago. The masses won’t care about saving the world or practice sustainability unless they lose their jobs. What I’m trying to say is that they won’t change because they are too busy being part of the “system”. Nothing is going to change unless you get out of the system. Thats when the awakening process happens. I also try to tell my friends about my new outlook, but I know they think I’m crazy eventhough they won’t say it. They are too dependent on the system that they can not change. But out of the millions that still haven’t found jobs, I think they are searching, learning and finding answers to questions they willfully ignored when they were part of the Matrix. Some of them, like me, are trying to become self sustainable and not depend on corporations. I am looking for knowledge and I hope this forum will give me that. I think it will. Thank you for creating it.

    • Christine September 16, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      I also hope this site gives you some of what you seek. I do agree with you – being vested in a system is a powerful motivator to keep you locked into that system. Sometimes a breaking away is what’s required to reorient. I love your story – you took a tough situation and began looking at the world in a new way.

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